Chorlton Bike Deliveries

Chorlton, Manchester, UK
58 Manchester Road South Kingstown England M21 9UN GB

Chorlton Bike Deliveries is a new, innovative, free, resident-led scheme to support our community as we respond to the threat of the Covid-19 virus, primarily offering delivery of food to our neighbours who find it hard to get to the shop.

Launched on Earth Day on April 22nd it is an entirely voluntary organisation based on cooperative values. It is affiliated to Walk Ride Greater Manchester, a group campaigning for safer streets and cleaner air. As such the organisation is here for the long term, seeking to encourage residents to forsake their cars when shopping locally.

How Does it Work?

Out and about
  • We use two E-cargo bikes and two bike trailers to provide deliveries Monday to Saturday every week
  • We are recruiting, training and managing a team of volunteer cyclists who will deliver by arrangement, working to hygenie and safety standards
  • We are working with local independent and cooperative retailers who prepare the bags of food for delivery by us
  • We are supporting local food banks by delivering perishable, unwanted food from our local Cooperative Stores
  • We are happy to do deliveries when the need arises, for example we have delivered resident sewn PPE for hospital use

Why are we doing this?

  • We want to help customers who may be vulnerable or isolated, building a kinder more connected community
  • We really value our food charities, independent traders, cooperatives and we wish to support them through these difficult times
  • We wish to increase alternatives to cars, reduce pollution & address climate change

Please contact us at: [email protected] or on 07561 737986.

What have we achieved so far?

An update mid July 2020

In under 3 months, we have formed partnerships with 9 independent retailers in and around Chorlton and an agreement to deliver locally for these outlets. We have riders in Chorlton centre every week day so are able to respond to delivery requests quickly. Nearly 500 lots of shopping have been delivered to local residents from these retailers since our launch.

Within our ‘social arm’, we do daily pick ups of unsold food from local supermarkets and deliver to food banks. We have also teamed up with community food projects and do regular deliveries of pre-prepared food to people who need it, often elderly and isolated. so far, we have delivered 646 meals. We have worked on numerous one-off projects e.g. delivering flour and yeast from a Whalley Range flour co-operative to local streets for use by residents, care packages provided by a pharmacy and community project to older residents and fabric to people volunteering to sow them into scrubs for health service staff. As the local cafes and restaurants are opening, we have started collecting used coffee grounds and tea leaves to deliver to local allotments for composting.

In addition to all of the above, we are keen to impact on carbon emissions and traffic congestion in Chorlton by doing bike deliveries where traditionally, cars and vans have been used. Our riders have exchanged 800 car miles for pedal power since the end April. This has resulted in a saving of 1771kg of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to the amount absorbed by 26 trees over their whole lifetime!

Thinking about the future

The CBD core group spent time in June exploring options for future working. Short surveys of retailers and residents were undertaken to inform this process. The results of these indicated that CBD has successfully established a trusted brand which is valued by many local residents as well as the traders and community groups we worked with so far. It was clear that many felt CBD should have a future and we needed to explore options for an ongoing structure and operation.

After meetings with Coop Cycle and the York Collective Cycle cooperative, and attending the Coops UK webinar, Courier Coops: Getting started (July 11th 2020), it was decided to pursue becoming a workers’ cooperative. Coop Cycle is a Europe-wide federation of cycle cooperatives. Through membership with them, CBD would be able to access a platform and app which would streamline our service greatly. This software has sections for online shop listings/takeaway menus, e-commerce (enabling end-customers to pay online) and a dispatch module used to allocate riders to delivery jobs. A contract with Coop Cycle will be signed this week (w/c 13 July 2020).

An application to The Hive coop business support for their pathway 1 (start up groups and recently incorporated co-ops) is underway, with plans to submit it by end of w/c 13th July 2020. In this application, we will request support with identifying an appropriate legal structure, considering governance issues/ drafting a governance document and business planning, including progressing from our current minimal viable product offer towards our +the CBD vision to impact our community in terms of its micro-economy, traffic congestion and carbon emissions.

On the roadVegetablesCargobikeUniocorn

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